Enlightening

Ultra-violet rays have been used by restoration experts in Florence, Italy to shine new light on the work of Giotto di Bondone, one of the West’s most important painters.

Ultra-violet rays have been used by restoration experts in Florence, Italy to shine new light on the work of Giotto di Bondone, one of the West’s most important painters. The Independent reports that murals by Giotto at the Peruzzi Chapel in Florence’s Santa Croce, depicting John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, neglected for hundreds of years and encrusted with dirt, have now had their intricacies exposed through the use of ultra-violet light. "The ambitious ‘non-invasive diagnostics’ project designed to assess the condition of the 12-metre-high chapel, which Giotto painted in about 1320, began last year. By chance restorers working on the three-storey steel scaffolding noted that when ultra-violet light was directed on the frescoes a remarkable degree of extra detail became visible. Cecilia Frosinini, who co-ordinated project, told Corriere della Sera that when the UV light went on, ‘all that was opaque, uncertain and illegible became clear, dense and full of contrast’. ‘We have uncovered a secret Giotto,’ said another of the team, Isabella Lapi Ballerini, head of Florence's Opificio delle Pietre Dure art restoration laboratory."

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
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How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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Scientists just voted to change the definition of a kilogram

The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.

Greg L via Wikipedia
Surprising Science
  • The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
  • Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
  • Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
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